Utah Utes rising without starting quarterback

Utah coach Kyle Whittingham delivered a devastating blow to the Utes’ hopes for a third straight Pac-12 title this season, announcing that quarterback Cameron Rising would be shut down for the remainder of the season after their win over USC on Saturday.

However, Utah shouldn’t be counted out just yet.

The Utes’ lone loss this season came against Oregon State, but they have notable wins over Florida, Baylor, Weber State, UCLA, California, and USC.

Whittingham’s team has a crucial game against Oregon this week, followed by matchups against Arizona State, Washington, Arizona, and Colorado to close out the season.

If quarterback Bryson Barnes can replicate his performance from the 34-32 victory over USC last week (14-for-23 for 235 yards, three touchdowns, one interception, along with 10 carries for 57 yards and a touchdown), Utah could still have a say in the conference title picture.

Now, let’s rank the Pac-12 football teams entering Week 9 of the season, with the previous rankings in parenthesis. Utah gets a boost in the rankings after their win over the Trojans.

1. Washington (1)

This week: At Stanford

Last week: Beat Arizona State, 15-7

What to know: Washington narrowly avoided a fall in the rankings, only saved by an interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. The Huskies were outplayed by Arizona State for most of the game.

More: Arizona State’s upset attempt of Washington comes up short in Pac-12 college football game

2. Oregon (2)

This week: At Utah

Last week: Beat Washington State, 38-24

What to know: Utah faces some tough challenges ahead with matches against Oregon, USC, and Oregon State still on the schedule. Their showdown against Oregon this week will be a true test.

3. Oregon State (3)

This week: At Arizona

Last week: Off

What to know: Tight end Jack Velling has been a standout for Oregon State this season, with 16 catches for 223 yards, seven of which resulted in touchdowns.

4. Utah (5)

This week: vs. Oregon

Last week: Beat USC, 34-32

What to know: In the win over USC, safety Sione Vaki made an impact with five catches for 149 yards and two touchdowns, along with nine carries for 68 yards.

5. UCLA (6)

This week: vs. Colorado

Last week: Beat Stanford, 42-7

What to know: UCLA has one of the most favorable remaining schedules in the Pac-12, with matchups against Colorado, Arizona, Arizona State, USC, and California.

6. USC (4)

This week: At California

Last week: Lost at Utah, 34-32

What to know: The USC defense is struggling, conceding at least 28 points in their last four games.

7. Arizona (7)

This week: vs. Oregon State

Last week: Off

What to know: The Wildcats will face their fourth consecutive ranked opponent when they play Oregon State.

8. Washington State (8)

This week: At Arizona State

Last week: Lost at Oregon, 38-24

What to know: Washington State started the season with four wins but has since lost three straight games, being outscored 107-47 in the process.

9. Colorado (9)

This week: At UCLA

Last week: Off

What to know: The Buffaloes have been involved in high-scoring matches, averaging 34.4 points per game but also giving up 35.9 points per game.

10. California (10)

This week: vs. USC

Last week: Off

More: Pac-12 officials lambasted for picking up flag in Arizona State vs. Washington game

What to know: The week off may have come at the perfect time for California, as they have tough games against Oregon State and Utah before and after it.

11. Stanford (11)

This week: vs. Washington

Last week: Lost to UCLA, 42-7

What to know: Stanford has a challenging schedule ahead, including matchups against Oregon State and Notre Dame.

12. Arizona State (12)

This week: vs. Washington State

Last week: Lost at Washington, 15-7

What to know: Despite not allowing an offensive touchdown against Washington and outgaining them in multiple categories, Arizona State still suffered a loss.

What changed?: Previous Pac-12 football power rankings

Reach Jeremy Cluff at [email protected]. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter @Jeremy_Cluff.

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